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1567   November : Thomas Nashe born at Lowestoft, third son of William Nashe, an Anglican priest, and his second wife Margaret (née Witchingham).
Family Tree
6 yrs.
Family moves to West Harling, Norfolk, where Nashe's father is appointed minister to the parish church of All Saints. 

14 yrs.
?December: Probably resident at Cambridge and attending lectures. 
October 13: entered as "sizar" student of St. John's College. 
16 yrs.
Sees plays performed by students in the hall of St.John's, including Richardus Tertius by Thomas Legge and Persa by Plautus.
1584 Appointed scholar of Lady Margaret Foundation. 
18 yrs
March: Takes his degree as Bachelor of Arts but remains at university 
19 yrs.
January: Nashe's father dies, apparently so suddenly he has no time to make a will. 
1587? Nashe allegedly involved in college drama production, Terminus et non terminus, which offends the university authorities. 
20 yrs
Nashe still listed as attending lectures in Cambridge. 
  September 19: Nashe's first work is registered for publication in London: it's assumed he left Cambridge shortly before. 

21 yrs.
August 23: Nashe's preface to Robert Greene's Menaphon is registered. 
  October 23: Richard Harvey's A Theologicall Discourse of the Lamb of published, containing an attack on Nashe to which he makes no reply. 
22 yrs.
December 2: his mother Margaret Nashe makes her will in Lowestoft; she is buried there, December 10.Will
1590 March/April: an anonymous anti-puritan pamphlet An Almond for a Parrat appears, most probably written by Nashe; and his The Anatomie of Absurditie is also published. 
23 yrs.
A bootleg edition of Astrophel (poems written by the late Sir Philip Sidney to his married mistress Penelope Rich) is published, with a preface by Nashe.  
   September 18: the book is impounded by order of the Privy Council, probably acting on the request of Sidney's sister Mary, Countess of Pembroke, whose own corrected edition of Astrophel appears the following April. 
24 yrs.
? Around this time Nashe writes the erotic poem A Choise of Valentines for a private patron, Lord Strange.Patrons
  July 2:A Quippe for an Upstart Courtier by Nashe's friend Robert Greene is registered, containing an attack on the three Harvey brothers, Gabriel, Richard and John. 
  Early August: Plague in London; Nashe and Greene "dine" together in the city, the banquet being pickled herring - little more than a bar snack - and large amounts of wine 
  August 8: Nashe's Pierce Penilesse his Supplication to the Divell is registered. 
  September 3: Greene dies after a short illness, possibly of plague. Nashe is not present; he has probably left plague-ridden London for the country home of Archbishop Whitgift, for whom he briefly works.Patrons,
  September 7: Dr. Gabriel Harvey publishes a "butterfly" (6-page) pamphlet defending himself and his brothers from Greene's attack. It gloatingly describes Greene's squalid death in poverty, and sideswipes Nashe. 
 Early October: Nashe's play Summer's Last Will and Testament played at Croydon before John Whitgift, Archbishop of Canterbury. 
25 yrs.
December: Nashe, apparently still with Whitgift, publishes Strange Newes...a pamphlet defending Greene and ridiculing the Harveys. 
1593 January 12 Nashe's reply to Harvey, Strange Newes is registered in London, described in the entry as 'The Apologie of Pierce Pennylesse', wording in the title-page of editions published later in 1593. The first edition evidently came out before it was licensed, in late 1593. 
  Around February Nashe is staying with a friend at a fenland house (probably Robert Cotton at Conington). He gathers material for The Terrors of the Night, his commentary on witchcraft, dreams and disturbed mental states. 
 March - June: Nashe is working as editor/proof-reader for the printer John Danter. Mutual friends of Nashe and Harvey attempt to patch up peace between the two, who have never met. 
 June 30 The Terrors of the Night is registered but not published. 
 September 8: Christs Teares Over Ierusalem, a religious pamphlet calling on plague-stricken London to repent its sins, is registered. In it Nashe offers to make his peace with Gabriel Harvey. 
 September 17: registration of Nashe's picaresque prose fiction, The Unfortunate Traveller. 
 early October: Christs Teares Over Ierusalem published with a dedication to the wife of Sir George Carey. 
 mid-October: Harvey publishes Pierces Supererogation, attacking Nashe. Nashe is arrested by the London civic authorities for insulting them in Christs Teares and sent to Newgate. He later blames Harvey for stirring up trouble - their feud is now serious. 
26 yrs.
November 13: In a letter to his wife (dedicatee of Christs Teares) Sir George Carey says he intends to help Nashe, who is being victimised by "the londoners".Letter
 November 20: Nashe is released from Newgate with the assistance of Carey's secretary, John Snowe. He leaves to spend Christmas on the Isle of Wight where Carey is governor. 
1594February: Nashe is back in London by February 24 and witnesses the arraignment of Dr. Lopez at the Guildhall. 
   Nashe publishes his picaresque romance The Unfortunate Traveller, with a dedication to the Earl of Southampton.Works
 Second issue of Christ's Teares, with changes to the passage on p. 83 formerly beginning "London, thou art the seeded garden of sin...".Works
27 yrs
October 25 The Terrors of the Night is re-registered for publication 
 Publication of The Tragedie of Dido Queene of Carthage, as "written by Christopher Marlowe and Thomas Nashe". (An elegy to Marlowe, who died May 1593, is prefixed to some editions.)  
1595Nashe publishes nothing in 1595; in his next publication (HWYTSW, 1596) he refers to friends accusing him of having been "idle and new-fangled, beginning many things but soon weary of them ere he be half-entred," but claims his silence has been caused by the distractions of hack work and the need to earn a living.
In the same publication (HWYTSW) Nashe refers to having travelled to Lincolnshire sometime in 1595. On his return he stays at the Dolphin Inn at Cambridge, where mutual friends are attempting to make up the quarrel between him and Dr. Harvey. Although Harvey is staying at the same inn Nashe claims they never meet, and their feud is never resolved.
1596August / September:From London Nashe writes his one surviving letter to his friend William Cotton in the country. He explains he could have left town for the summer, "being earnestly invited elsewhere", but chose to stay on because of "had I wist hopes & an after harvest I expected by writing for the stage and for the press". But the death of Lord Hunsdon, patron of the Chamberlain's Men (Shakespeare's company) has led to renewed harassment of the stage; and the popularity of other best-selling items has hindered Nashe. The letter ends with a discreetly desperate appeal for cash. 
28 yrs
c. early October:Nashe publishes his final answer to Harvey, Have with you to Saffron-walden. In an aside he mentions having lodged with its publisher, John Danter, for some time; in which case he was probably earning his keep as editor/proof-reader for Danter's press. 
29 yrs.
According to Richard Lichfield in his hostile pamphlet published later in the year, The Trimming of Thomas Nashe Gentleman, Nashe is in prison during the spring.
July : The Isle of Dogs, a play part-written by Nashe and Ben Jonson, is played at a public theatre on the Bankside, possibly the Swan. The play's treatment of "lewd matters" and the public response to it cause great offence to the government, which orders it suppressed. The main actors including Ben Jonson are arrested; Nashe narrowly escapes, but his papers are seized from his lodgings.
28 July : Privy Council orders the closure of all theatres in London as punishment.
15 August : Privy Council instructs Richard Topcliffe and assistants to interrogate the imprisoned players and examine Nashe's papers.
3 October : Ben Jonson and the other actors are released.
Richard Lichfield's anti-Nashe pamphlet, delayed so it could include The Isle of Dogs disaster, is published.
c. late November / December: According to Nashe in Lenten Stuffe (1599) he finds shelter in Great Yarmouth, a fishing port, and remains there for over a month.
30 yrs.
Nashe publishes nothing in this year and apparently does not return to London, although he finds time to write most of Nashes Lenten Stuffe.
7 September: Francis Meres registers Palladis Tamia, essentially an overview of the English literary scene, and refers in it to his hopes for an end to Nashe's exile: "God forbid that so brave a witte should so basely perish:...neither is thy banishment like Ovids, eternally to converse with the barbarous Getes. Therefore comfort thy selfe sweete Tom, with Ciceros glorious return to Rome."
31 yrs.
11 January: Nashes Lenten Stuffe, a pamphlet celebrating the history and economic vigour of Great Yarmouth in Norfolk is registered by publisher Cuthbert Burby, on condition it can be "lawfully authorised". It appears sometime after February.
1 June: An order is sent from Archbishop Whitgift and Richard Bancroft, Bishop of London, banning a ragbag of satirical works and "all Nashe's books", demanding that existing stocks of the latter's work be burnt and no more ever printed.
32 yrs
Nashe allegedly helps produce The Hospitall of Incurable Fooles, a translation of a work from the Italian.
28 October : Summers Last Will and Testament is registered.
1601Charles Fitzgeffrey's Affaniae, a book of Latin epigrams and epitaphs, refers to Nashe having died.
December : A speech from one of the characters in a Cambridge Christmas play refers to Nashe's death.

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Site maintained by R. Lamb:   Last updated 5 August 2000